Permanent Collection

Soledad Sevilla

Valencia, 1944
Las Meninas, 1983Las Meninas, 1983

Cubism introduced a new visual order in the pictorial space with the imposition of a grid that fragmented the images and offered discontinuous visions of the objects represented in it. Once the cubist image was accepted, reticular, enclosed, grid-like or interwoven structures have been of enormous compositional value, allowing painters to make use of them in order to present their personal vision of the world. Structures of this type are present in the work of artists as diverse as Piet Mondrian and Jackson Pollock, and they are also to be found in the work of Sevilla, who makes use of fine networks of lines, weaving color surfaces that create planes characterized by a discreet optical effect that suggests the vibration of light.

Once the working procedure is established, the intersection of parallel lines, of the grid-like structure, can arrange and enclose any form, figure or volume the artist desires. In the case of this work, produced in a period when Sevilla was interested in post-modernist concepts, the artist appropriates an iconic image of Western culture, namely Velázquez's celebrated painting Las Meninas. By applying an abstract filter of sorts on Velázquez's work, she dilutes the figures, the recognizable objects and the anecdotal elements, decanting the elements that construct the cubic space of the room, which is replaced by four planes of color that vibrate before the viewer. The visual effectiveness of Sevilla's painting reveals the solid compositional construction of Velázquez's work, given that, even after being subjected to simplifications and distortions, his cubic space, with its tensions and hierarchies, is still perfectly recognizable.

Javier Maderuelo, en Catalog Museo de Arte Abstracto Español, Cuenca, Fundación Juan March, Madrid, 2016